Was given a Mac Mini (2007) recently - what to do to it?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Totally, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. Totally macrumors 6502a

    Totally

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    #1
    Hi all,

    As the title states, I was recently given a Mac Mini mid-late 2007 for free. I took it into Apple and had it factory restored to 10.6.8 snow leopard and took it upon myself to update that to 10.7.5 lion. It has the core 2 duo processor as well as factory upgraded ram to 4GB. Hard drive 80GB.

    My question is, what can I do with this (if anything?)? I love how the machine looks and really don't want to just throw it away without trying to get something out of it. I use a newer rMBP as my machine right now, so it's not like I'm relying on this for anything serious. Just too nice to throw it away.

    I was thinking of upgrading the hard drive to something larger than the 80GB it came with. Is there anything else I should/could do to modernize it a little bit?

    Cheers
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #2
    Hmmm. Well, going all the way up to an SSD would definitely net it some power in the launching department. Depending on what processor it came with, fairly sure you can upgrade that too.
     
  3. Totally thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Totally

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    #3
    I don't think I want to drop the kind of money into it for an SSD given that it's quite old to begin with. I would think that a 5400 or 7200 RPM 500GB hard drive would great in that department.

    The processor is 1.83GHz. I'm not sure, can it be upgraded with a different core 2 duo processor? It would have to fit in the slot and apple would have had to make it the old processor removable.
     
  4. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #4
    I am 80% certain the processors are removable, and I'm also fairly sure you can get some 2Ghz or higher parts that go in the same socket at the same TDP. If I were you, I'd be more inclined to throw money at a faster drive than a bigger one, so 7200RPM 250 over 5400 500 I'd say. Of course this massively depends on your storage needs.
    I can help you look for potential processor upgrades if you want, but I won't be able to before tomorrow at the earliest. Let me know if you want me to.
     
  5. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Why not invest any upgrade "monies" on this very old Tech in buying at least a Mac Mini 2012??
     
  6. Totally thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Totally

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    #6
    That makes sense on the hard drives. I'm going to check out some prices later and see how they look. I appreciate that offer, I'd like to look on my own first so I don't take up any of your time. But if I found one that I thought was a good upgrade, could I send you a message with it and see?



    Because I'm not in the market to make a major computer purchase. If I was, I would likely purchase a 2012 mac mini quad core. I currently have a 2014 retina MBP 15 inch I use in daily life. This mac mini is just for fun basically so I don't have much problem dropping $100 or something to make it useable. That is much different than $700+ on that 2012 mac mini. I'm a graduate student. It's in my nature to tinker with these things.
     
  7. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #7

    Course you can. Hope you find something you like.
     
  8. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #8
    Not sure what you're asking for exactly if you're not open to hardware upgrades, but it can be used as file storage or as a media PC/HTPC.
     
  9. grcar, Jul 7, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015

    grcar Suspended

    grcar

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    #9
    Are you sure? Sticks in my mind the 2007s came with 1GB, and they would only recognize 3GB, which you had to buy after market.
     
  10. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

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    #10
    Well, it is a general-purpose computing device. So, the possibilities are quite literally endless. :) I'm currently using a 2007 Mini as my HTPC, as well as for some light file serving and for general browsing.

    I've left the 80 GB internal drive on mine solely to hold the OS, and hooked up a 2TB external drive to it for everything else. So, no problems with storage space here. :)
     
  11. Totally thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Totally

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    #11
    I'm 100% sure. The apple store informed me of the ram when I took it in. They ran full diagnostics on it and said it had 4GB of ram that was installed by apple. It was sold with 1GB of ram and later upgraded by the apple store to 4GB.

    I was thinking it would be pretty easy to set it up for something like this. Do you use a DVI -> HDMI adapter to get it plugged into a TV? Can it play nice video on a screen that big? Probably a dumb question haha.
     
  12. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

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    Milwaukee
    #12
    I think you can do the HDMI TV thing. My first home theater setup used a PIII - 733MHz processor Dell. Maybe home theater and some file serving, but other than that, I wouldn't spend a lot of money on the thing as it's value is quickly fading. You're stuck with Lion, which means you'll have potentially significant capability and security issues with browsing that I'm not too happy putting up with anymore. I'm trying to unload a 2006 iMac for that reason and at $125, it's not selling. I think $75 or less is a more realistic price. If you can find a use for it, enjoy. If you stumble across a free or cheap HD and want a little more space, ok. BTW, the higher density platters in larger drives makes data access noticeably faster, but won't mean anything if you're just playing a video file.
     
  13. g33k macrumors member

    g33k

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    #13
    Never throw a little beauty like this away. You could turn it into a Home Theatre Computer, a computer for the children to use, a file server, a server for a website, a video game server, and it goes on and on... If you really have no use for it you can sell it on eBay. Depending on the condition of it it you can get anything between $60 - $150.

    If you find that it is a little sluggish, you can upgrade the hard-drive to an SSD.
    :)
     
  14. doug in albq Suspended

    doug in albq

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    #14
    OS 10.7 Lion is one of Apple's worst operating systems in the modern era, either take that machine back to 10.6.8 Snow Leopard, or, if possible update to 10.8.5 Mountain Lion.
     
  15. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

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    #15
    Yup, sure do! :) DVI and HDMI use the same signals protocol, they just have different port structures, so it's cheap to get an adapter.

    This is the "screen big -- resolution small" thing. :) Unless you've got one of those new 4K tvs, your HDTV will max out at 1920x1080 pixels resolution no matter how physically big it is (and a lot of them are just 1280x720 pixels). The Mini should have no trouble providing data at those resolutions. (I should note, however, that I've gotten into arguments with videophiles about the quality of video you can play from an older Mini; if you're trying to play a video encoded at the full 1080p resolution with minimal compression and lossless FLAC audio, you'll need a fairly high-end Mac for that...)
     
  16. RedTomato, Jul 7, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015

    RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #16
    I've never really noticed the difference between a 7200rpm and a 5400rpm hdd, so speed wise I'd say you're wasting your money on that. Ditto processor upgrades. It's the hdd, specifically random file access for the hundreds, if not thousands of small files that a modern OS touches, that is holding the system back.

    A top of the range modern 3.5" 10,000rpm HDD will do about 0.3 MB/s when touching random small files. SSDs also struggle, doing around 30MB/s on random small files. However, that's 100x faster than a HDD, and that's exactly when you want the speed-up - when launching applications and opening and closing files, and avoiding stutters when auto-saving or when the OS decides to check mail or prefetch the weather report or update Spotlight / Dropbox / calendars etc.

    The nice thing is you get this 100x speed up even with old systems that only have SATA II (300MB/s) or even SATA I (150MB/s) drive interfaces.

    I have a mid 2009 MacBook which is probably similar to yours, (2.2ghz, 4gb, 500gb hdd) used daily by a staffer. It was dog slow, till I dropped a Samsung evo 250gb SSD in it last month. Only £80. Now the thing screams. Runs Mavericks no problem.

    If / when the MacBook eventually dies I can use the SSD in another machine or as a screaming fast portable usb3 external that does around 500 MB/s transfer on large files. (Speed tested with my 2013 Air)
     
  17. Totally thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Totally

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    #17
    Sweet - thanks for all the responses. Definitely gave me some good thoughts on what I can do with it.

    It's in great shape - the case has literally 0 scratches even on it which is why I didn't want to throw it away. Insides all work perfectly according to the apple store check they did for it on their super system network thing.

    About the OS - Lion is the latest that it can get onto. Being more creative it is possible to get it onto Mountain Lion since Apple doesn't allow it through their protocols.
     
  18. displaced macrumors 65816

    displaced

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    Gravesend, United Kingdom
    #18
    We've got a 2009 Mini (not massively quicker than yours, I believe) that has been our Plex Home Theatre (www.plex.tv) server and client for 6 years now. It gets used every single day streaming media from our 6TB fileserver.

    It's been absolutely perfect as an HTPC. DVI to HDMI adapter to the TV, optical audio for surround sound to our receiver. Plays back at 1080p without missing a frame, even on high-bitrate Blu-Ray files or 3D movies.

    I know you don't want to spend the money on an SSD, but I got a small, cheap SSD for our Mini. It's a genuine improvement -- the slowest SSD is going to kick even the fastest HD's backside. Application launch and responsiveness was really improved.

    I've got an old original 2005 PowerPC G4 Mac Mini too. Because of the paucity of modern PowerPC apps, I ended up installing FreeBSD on it and it's still running as a little web development test server.

    Minis are great little machines and because of their small size, you can repurpose them as home theatre boxes or mini servers or otherwise really easily. People even fit them in their cars :)
     
  19. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

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    #19
    Actually, the 2009 Mini has several nice advantages over the 2007 model, especially the Geforce 9400M GPU. So it will do quite a bit better in a number of graphics-related categories...
     

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